Dentons plan for “truly national” US firm passes votes

by Steve Randall24 Oct 2019

Dentons plan for “truly national” US firm passes votes

Partners of the three firms involved in the largest US law firm combination of 2019 so far by revenue and headcount, have voted in favour.

Dentons, Bingham Greenebaum, and Cohen & Grigsby will create the first step on the way to a truly national US law firm, while retaining the defining characteristics of the member firms.

"Our innovative one firm, dual partnership model, beginning with this combination, has client service at its core," said Joe Andrew, Global Chair of Dentons. "Member firms are able to protect and promote the culture that has made them a magnet for clients while also becoming partners in a national partnership that incents them to work collaboratively, with a shared commitment to quality client service."

Law firms lagging on customer interaction

A survey of how law firms respond to email, calls, and voicemails has found the majority were unsatisfactory.

The study by legal tech firm Clio asked firms questions that a typical potential client might have when first contacting a law firm; and the results revealed many new clients may be ignored.

Just 40% of the firms responded to emails, 56% of calls were answered by a person, and 39% went to voicemail with more than half of firms not responding to voicemails within 72 hours.

Of the responses that were received, 7 out of 10 firms did not provide satisfactory responses to emails, 6 out of 10 provided unsatisfactory responses to calls, and nearly all provided unsatisfactory responses to voicemails.

These were judged against a survey of client expectations which found that most expect a response within 24 hours.

They also expect email responses to answer at least one question regarding the issue or the lawyer’s ability to help, provide some information on either rates or booking a consultation, and not be confusing in their communications.

For calls, law firms needed to achieve an average performance of 50% across the following: number of questions answered, ability to demonstrate experience with the matter, provide some information on how to learn about rates or overall cost, and provide information on next steps.

Why this boutique firm is offering all employees a piece of the firm

A London-based employment law firm has decided to offer all of its employees the chance to own part of the business.

Doyle Clayton already offers non-lawyers a share ownership scheme but has now opened this up to all employees in a bid to ensure engagement, innovation, and independence.

CEO Peter Doyle says people are the firm’s most important asset.

“All of our staff need to be actively involved in improving our services and their delivery. This may be working with suppliers to reduce costs and environmental impact or helping clients - the organisations and individuals we advise to achieve their goals more effectively,” he said. “Ensuring that all of our people are fully engaged in the business and in our future growth will help us to become even more innovative and in turn successful. Employee ownership is not a new idea and many well-known businesses of all types have embraced it successfully. For our next chapter, we believe that it is the right choice and one that will help us to be a more inclusive and dynamic organisation.”